< — The Beginning and the End — > (6)
Lucia smiled cheerily, holding a pair of finished pink socks in one hand. The small sized item could barely fit a few of her fingers but it was lovely.
These days, Lucia had been having a lot of fun making little items for the baby that was coming. She had made a couple of bibs and handkerchiefs, and today, she began knitting a pair of socks in the morning and just finished.
Lucia looked at her stomach in surprise at the sudden movement from inside. She couldn’t remember when the light wiggles changed to strong kicking movements.
“Sweety, I’m making socks for you to wear. But you see, your mother isn’t very experienced, so it took me almost half a day to make a pair.”
“Will the baby even understand you?”
Lucia flashed a bright smile at her husband, who was approaching her. She didn’t know when he came back. It had been quite a long time since she saw him in the afternoon.
Her husband was very busy lately. In addition to his usual schedule of going out in the morning and returning in the evening, when he was at home, people went in and out of his office until late at night.
Even when they were together, he looked like his mind had flown elsewhere. A few days ago, a carriage full of books and documents arrived and for several days, he was locked up in his office without going out.
“Of course, she understands. Are you done with what you were busy with?”
Lucia thought he looked somewhat lighthearted as he nodded his head.
Around two weeks ago, Hugo received a report that Philip’s hideout had been found and a few days ago, he received all the extensive records from the hideout. Over the course of a few days, he went through the records and found the records of the women that had given birth to the Taran females.
All the women had given birth safely. And when the child was weaned off milk, they were disposed off for secrecy purposes.
Hugo wasn’t even surprised since that was definitely something they would do. With the simple confirmation that his wife would be safe even after giving birth, he felt like a load was lifted off his shoulders. He suddenly missed his wife so much that he immediately left his office and went to the second floor.
Hugo sat next to her, picked up the small knitted socks from her knees and turned it left and right.
“It’s this small?”
“I don’t know either, I can’t see the baby yet but I heard even this size is big. But they say the baby will grow into it quickly. Ah. It just moved. Come on, hurry.”
Lucia quickly grabbed his hand and placed it on her stomach. She waited but there was nothing.
“I think she hates me.”
Hugo had still not felt the baby moving. He wondered how the baby’s movement felt but whenever he brought his hand to feel it, the baby who was just moving would become quiet.
Lucia felt bad for her husband who was disappointed every time, but she also thought it was cute and comforted him.
“There’s no way she does. You’re her father. I think she’s just quite shy.”
“It’s good to be very cautious. I have to teach her well when she’s born. I’m worried she will be too bold like you.”
“What did I do?”
“You came to see me, all by yourself. Don’t do something like that.”
“Then I wouldn’t have married you, you know? Another me might be seeing me in a dream right now. Would you like her to follow your advice?”
Seeing him pondering it, Lucia burst out laughing.
A small exclamation escaped both of their mouths as movement was felt from Lucia’s stomach and they both looked at each other. After that, it moved a few more times in a row. It was as if it was saying that the movement a little while ago was not mistaken.
“The baby is saying hi to you.”
Hugo blankly stared at his hand which was resting on Lucia’s bulging stomach. He realized that a life was really growing inside there. As he watched her stomach grow more and more, he merely thought it was fascinating. Feeling the movement personally was strange for reasons he couldn’t explain. Somewhere in his chest tightened at the feeling.
When he was on edge due to the issues surrounding his wife, he blamed the child at the bottom of his heart. After such dregs disappeared, he felt sorry for even blaming the baby who had done nothing wrong and he felt grateful that the child was growing well.
He lowered his head and kissed her. He smiled, seeing her flushed face, then he supported her back with his hand and followed with a deep kiss.
He swallowed her soft lips and traced every corner of her small mouth. Their tongues intertwined, and they were both absorbed in the heated kiss.
Hugo continued the intense kiss until she needed to breath, then he planted light kisses on her lips like a finishing touch.
“Let’s do it.”
His eyes were filled with lust. Lucia’s face burned red.
“Let me do it. I endured for three months and a half.”
He expected her to be startled or shocked, but she just avoided his gaze slightly. Hugo had been determined to use all means possible, whether it was persuading or pleading, but now, he didn’t know whether her reaction was a good one or not. Hugo decided to interpret it as he liked, abandoning his principle of assuming the worst when in doubt.
She was giving permission. He promptly hugged her before she changed her mind. He put her down on the bed and began to undress.
“Is it okay?”
He climbed over her laying figure on the bed, being careful not to touch her belly, then he lowered his head and kissed her. He didn’t want a situation where she was unwilling but didn’t refuse. Hugo wanted to make love with her. He didn’t want to resolve his desire one-sidedly.
Lucia’s face reddened as she looked in his eyes filled with a mixture of sincerity and longing.
“…Do you really want to do it?”
“I’m at my limit. I don’t know how many nights I’ve spent sleepless. You sleep very well by my side though.”
Lucia pursed her lips slightly. There were times when she woke up at dawn and when she looked at him, he was sleeping quite well.
“Do you not want to? At all? I already asked the doctor. She said we just have to be careful. Since she said it’s fine if I don’t enter too deeply, I asked if we can do a few positions…”
Lucia slapped his arm with her face as red as an apple then she yelled.
“Argh, you’re too much, seriously! Did you really ask that?”
“It’s your doctor. Why not?”
Lucia glowered at his shameless face then she hesitated for a moment before confessing.
“…My body changes as the baby grows…I thought you might not be attracted…”
“…Did you have another strange dream?”
“No. I didn’t. It’s just…it’s been a long time since…three months passed.”
Lucia thought that once the three months the doctor asked them to be careful about passed, he would immediately pounce on her. However, when the third month came, a day passed, a few days went by, but he showed no sign of doing anything of the sort, so she felt sad and her confidence faded.
“I know I haven’t been very attentive lately. I’m sorry.” (Hugo)
He had been getting frequent reports on the search for Philip’s hideout and when he received the records, his mind was entirely focused on digging through them. Only after he was convinced she was safe, did he want to see her and hug her.
“I know you’re busy. I understand. Just…I gain weight as my belly increases…”
Hugo looked at his wife’s hesitant figure then he burst out laughing.
“Here I thought I was the only one pining after it, but you wanted to do it too. You should have said so.” (Hugo)
“…you’ll only tease me.” (Lucia)
Hugo chuckled and kissed her lovely reddened lips.
“I love you. No matter what you look like.” (Hugo)
Lucia smiled bashfully and wrapped her arms around his neck. Hugo put his hands around her back too and hugged her tightly.
“I like hugging you and just being like this.” (Lucia)
Hugo moved away from the embrace and asked with a stiff expression.
“Don’t tell me you changed your mind?” (Hugo)
Lucia couldn’t suppress her laughter when she saw the overly serious look on his face so she spoke coyly.
“Even if we don’t do it…”
He held Lucia’s chin as she cackled, then he covered her lips with his own.